Upgrading to Full HD Flexo imaging plate technology delivers quality rivaling that of gravure.
Esko (www.esko.com) reports that Brazil-based Clicheria DP Studio has recently upgraded its investment in digital flexo imaging from HD Flexo to Esko Full HD Flexo, becoming the 100th installation, worldwide. DP Studio is reporting exceptional package printing results – even replacing gravure at times.
HD Flexo, with nearly 1.000 installations, brought to flexographic printing a quality level that could previously only be achieved with offset or rotogravure printing processes. It evolved to become the new standard in flexography. The impact on the label and packaging industry of HD Flexo cannot be underestimated. Brand managers now have the option of producing shorter runs of packaging and labels more affordably, and in a more environmentally friendly manner, without any compromise in quality, giving them more freedom in terms of production technology.
Building on that, Full HD Flexo has grown in popularity and is quickly becoming the flexo quality standard for more applications and more substrates. “Esko Full HD Flexo, a 2014 Printing Industries of America InterTech™ Technology Award recipient, is being quickly adopted throughout the world,” notes Thomas Klein, Vice President Flexo Business at Esko. "Launched just 18 months ago, a hundred customers worldwide have already adopted the technology to achieve excellent – and at times, award-winning – flexo print quality results. With Full HD Flexo we broaden the range of substrates and applications upon which flexo printing can truly compete against any other print process. This is continuing evidence of Esko’s leadership in setting new flexo printing standards for quality and consistency.”
A number of Full HD Flexo users have received noteworthy awards over the past year, including gold EFIA Print Awards, the Supreme Award at the FlexoTech International Awards, DFTA Awards and a Best of Show at the FTA’s annual Excellence in Flexography Awards.
Replacing different print processes with Full HD Flexo
Clicheria DP Studio was founded in 1990 in Londrina-Paraná, Brazil. Its owner, Domingos P. Rocha, has always sought the latest technologies. Operating for 23 years as a flexo printer, the company has built a solid reputation for high quality work. It has become one of the largest in the country with Esko’s platemaking system, working with the best photopolymer plate brands in the world “We have strong partnerships and technology. With this, Clicheria DP-Studio has become a well-known printer in Brazil due to our experience in the most diverse areas of flexography,” says Agnaldo Moraes, technical commercial manager at DP Studio.
While DP Studio was very happy with Esko HD Flexo, they upgraded to Esko Full HD Flexo. Full HD Flexo combines all the benefits of HD Flexo, offering print results similar to gravure. Full HD Flexo technology combines high-resolution 4000ppi imaging and special imaging software, along with a digitally controlled LED UV main exposure within the Esko CDI flexo plate imager. With Full HD Flexo, flexo platemaking has become a true “Computer to Plate” process: no lamination, no films, and no extra steps with light tables. Plates are ready for processing after unloading. No special consumables are needed, and it works with all popular digital flexo plates and sleeves. Press changeovers are faster and downtimes are reduced. “Full HD Flexo’s digital Inline UV exposure delivers quality and consistency, with no surprises. Plate imaging is extremely consistent from side to side, and human errors are reduced," says Moraes.
“We created several Full HD Flexo samples and we were amazed with the quality of printing that we could offer the flexo market, meeting the needs and the increasing demands of our customers. Full HD Flexo plates can digitally control the tops of dots, with exceptional 'round top' highlight dots along with the solid ability and stability of applying ink to flexo plates with 'flat top dots', all on the same plate,” adds Moraes. “Full HD Flexo delivers superior quality highlights combined with exceptional solid ink printing that you see in gravure. We are able to offer our customers strong, vibrant colors in contrast with lighter shades with smooth transitions to zero.”
On flexible materials, DP Studio gets improved quality from solids and whites. With paperboard and corrugated stocks, along with better coverage and increased highlight stability there is a reduction of patterning caused by the flutes. With higher line screens, they are able to migrate jobs from rotogravure printing, delivering excellent details and exceptional, smooth gradients when they print with special colors.
“What does Full HD Flexo mean to us? We always strive for superior quality and innovation. With Full HD Flexo we are able to provide the packaging market a product that exceeds all expectations from the moment of printing – minimizing make-readies and resulting in fantastic products. Today, we can print high quality projects with flexo. We are able to reproduce standard images at very high resolution – allowing us to produce deep, crystal-clear images, brilliant colors, and unique sharpness. For us, it’s been a true visual revolution. Surely, Full HD Flexo certification is just a matter of time,” concludes Moraes. “With Full HD Technology, image quality is very impressive. We can print photos and gradations with a quality we have never seen before. It really is something close to the quality of gravure. We can see why Full HD Flexo is being adopted quickly worldwide. The technology is catching on quickly with our customers.”
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